The Dreaded Measuring

Periodically my boot camp instructor will hold evaluations for those who want an assessment, and today was one of those days. What this entails is weighing in, taking measurements of my arms, hips, waist, etc., and having my body fat analyzed. And yes, it is about as much fun as it sounds.

I’ve actually had some really good evaluations where I lost inches, pounds and body fat while increasing muscle mass and water composition. But today I was pretty sure that it would not be one of those good evaluations. Although I’ve been pretty consistent with working out and/or running several times during the week, my eating habits have been on a roller coaster lately. I’ve been fairly disciplined during the week, but on weekends tend to cut loose and eat pretty much whatever I want, and that has wreaked havoc on my scale.

Sure enough, I’d gained several pounds since my last evaluation back in the spring. I’d gained a few inches all over and body fat as well. Perhaps I haven’t gained enough for anyone else to notice, but I’ve noticed, and today I got scientific evidence of the damage I’ve done to my body.

I could react with complete discouragement, feeling like an utter failure and letting today’s evaluation really get me down. It’s tough to feel like you’ve sabotaged some of the progress you’ve worked so hard to make. But instead I’m choosing to focus on the positives, particularly how far I’ve come in the couple of years that I’ve been boot camping and running:

• I can run a lot farther and faster without stopping than when I started.
• I’m a lot stronger than when I started.
• I’ve got more muscle tone and overall endurance.
• I still weigh less than when I first started.
• I’m still working out consistently, even when I’m not seeing the results I want to see.
• I’m making healthy eating choices more often than not.

I’m also re-committing to being disciplined about what I eat every single day, not just during the week. I’m once again keeping a food journal on a regular basis, which always helps me keep on track with healthy eating. I’ve also started this week a 21-day detox challenge that our boot camp instructor invited us to take part in, where we eliminate sugar, alcohol, fast food and other non-healthy eats for the next three weeks. I know that that will make a difference as well.

Although I have a goal weigh range that I’m aiming for, I really don’t want to be fixated on a number. I don’t want my mood to be dictated by what the scale says. I don’t want to work out and eat healthy merely for the sake of maintaining a certain dress size, but instead because it’s a lifestyle I want to maintain for the rest of my life. That, of course, means that there are going to be some bad days along with good days, but hopefully the good will far outnumber the bad.

For our evaluations today, we each got a new boot camp t-shirt, and the motto on the back is one I’m going to take to heart: “Fitness is not a destination–it’s a way of life.”

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